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PIAA welcomes extra money in QLD budget

Wednesday, 13 June 2018
By Graham Osborne
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PIAA president Walter Kuhn (right) meets with Federal Labour leader Bill Shorten.

Printing Industries has given a qualified ‘thumbs-up’ to the Queensland budget, welcoming a funding boost for training and an ongoing payroll tax offset for taking on trainees. “It’s a start,” says PIAA president Walter Kuhn.

The peak industry body pointed to four major positives in the Palaszczuk Government’s Budget that was delivered this week:

  1. More than $770 million will be invested in the Vocational Education and Training (VET) Investment Plan.
  2. $85 million over three years for TAFE facilities.
  3. $1.3 million to support Queensland Apprentices.
  4. $26 million to extend the 50 per cent payroll tax rebate scheme for apprentices and trainees Education.

“It’s not a bad budget but it’s not a good budget either,” says Kuhn. “The $26 million to extend the payroll tax rebate will certainly assist all employers and help to increase employment in the printing sector. Employers carry the burden for the first 6-12 months in an apprentice’s first year when they’re not very productive and this kind of funding is essential to encourage companies to take on more apprentices.”

Kuhn says PIAA lobbying of Queensland government departments has been successful in raising awareness of the problems facing print training. “We’ve had some good wins,” he says.

“The $770 million for the VET and an $85 million boost in TAFE training will go a long way to help industry training, while $1.3 million for Queensland apprentice training is not enough by far.”

Kuhn believes the Queensland Labor government needs better targeted industry funding that will deliver more money to where it’s going to be most effective – especially for employers taking on apprentices – rather than “feel-good scenarios. It’s not a great budget but it’s a start, and our lobbying for the industry will continue.”

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